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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 24th, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Ashley Monroe – The Blade (Warner Music Nashville)
Brigades – Indefinite (Pure Noise)
The Bunny The Bear – A Liar Wrote This (Victory Records) – Davey Boy
Counterparts – Tragedy Will Find Us (Pure Noise)
Cult Leader – Useless Animal (Deathwish Inc.)
Ducktails – St. Catherine (Domino Recording Company)
The Dustbowl Revival – With A Lampshade On (Signature Sounds)
Eleni Mandell – Dark Lights Up (Yep Roc Records)
Eleventh Dream Day – Work For Tomorrow (Thrill Jockey)
Field Music – Music For Drifters (Memphis Industries)
Jill Scott – Woman (Atlantic)
Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova (Legacy)
Kasey Chambers – Bittersweet (Sugar Hill)
Lamb Of God – VII: Sturm Und Drang (Epic)
Locrian – Infinite Dissolution (Relapse)
Loop – Array 1 (ATP Recordings)
Madchild – Silver Tongue Devil (Battle Axe Records)
Northlane – Node (Rise Records)
Old Man Luedecke – Domestic Eccentric (True North Records)
Omar Souleyman – Bahdemi Nami (Monkeytown)
On An On – And The Wave Has Two Side (Roll Call Records)
Ricked Wicky – King Heavy Metal (Guided By Voices)
Sleaford Mods – Key Markets (Harbinger Sound)
Strange Wilds – Subjective Concepts (Sub Pop Records)
Symphony X – Underworld (Nuclear Blast America)
Tim Bowness – Stupid Things That Mean The World (Inside Out US) – Raul Stanciu
Trae Tha Truth –…

After two busy years, releasing a couple of beautiful, critically acclaimed solo records (Abandoned Dancehall Dreams & Stupid Things That Mean The World), it was time to talk again with Tim. Fortunately, he was kind enough to provide me all the information I wanted to know, including some fresh updates regarding some of his other projects such as Henry Fool or the second collaboration with Peter Chilvers (with whom he created a gorgeous LP 13 years ago, entitled California, Norfolk).

Hello Tim! How are you?

As of now, I’m suffering from a fever and in bed with a coat on (in the middle of Summer). A perfectly miserable condition to discuss my work perhaps?!?

It’s been over two years since your first interview for Sputnik. It has been a busy period for you, releasing two solo records: Abandoned Dancehall Dreams and Stupid Things That Mean The World. I am sure they have attracted a completely new audience to listen to your music. How do you feel? What do these albums mean to you?

I’m really pleased that both visually and musically the two albums have seemingly established something new for me.

As I’ve often said before, My Hotel Year – from 2004 – was a solo album in name only. It consisted of songs I’d co-written as part of several ongoing and unfinished collaborative projects. It was put together as a way of collecting material from disparate sources that would have been lost otherwise. I like some of the…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 17th, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Alan Jackson – Angels & Alcohol (Capitol Nashville)
Bassnectar – Into The Sun (Amorphous Music)
The Bird And The Bee – Recreational Love (Rostrum Records)
The Chemical Brothers – Born In The Echoes (Astralwerks)
Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room – Party Adjacent (Asian Man)
Dragonforce – In The Line Of Fire (Ear Music)
Flying Saucer Attack – Instrumentals 2015 (Drag City)
Future – DS2 (Epic)
Galactic – Into The Deep (Provogue)
Iron Wine & Ben Bridwell – Sing Into My Mouth (Black Cricket/Brown Records)
Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (Southeastern Records)
MS MR – How Does It Feel (Columbia)
Ninja Sex Party – Attitude City (CD Baby)
Pitbull – Dale (Sony Latin)
Ratatat – Magnifique (XL Recordings)
Sublime With Rome – Sirens (InGrooves)
Tame Impala – Currents (Interscope) – Rudy K.
Team Sleep – Woodstock Sessions Vol. 4 (Woodstock Sessions)
Tearjerker – Stay Wild (Self-released)
White Reaper – White Reaper Does It Again (Polyvinyl Records)
Wilco – Star Wars (Self-released)
Xander Duell – Wade Laiste (INGRID)


Album Streams:

The Chemical Brothers – Born In The Echoes

Flying Saucer Attack – Instrumentals 2015

Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

Ratatat – Magnifique

Tame Impala – Currents

Tearjerker – Stay Wild

White Reaper – White Reaper Does It Again

Wilco – Stars (free download)…

As Friday the 10th marks the first date under the global music industry’s paradigm shift into a more unified release schedule, your weekly news post will also be moving to the end of the week to honour the change (and to generally make things as easy as possible for yours truly). The change – which has eschewed multiple releases across the week in favour of one singular day – will affect 45 countries, and was put in place by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). The conglomerate currently represents 1300 various record companies around the world.

Friday was chosen as the official day in an effort to curb piracy, as both physical and online stores peak with consumer traffic over the weekend. July was chosen in an effort to work out  and fine-tune any kinks prior to the holiday season.

For more on the topic, you can head over here. But for now, as always…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 10th, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Between The Buried And Me – Coma Elliptic (Metal Blade)
Cody Simpson – Free (Bananabeat Records/Coast House)
Cradle Of Filth – Hammer Of The Witches (Nuclear Blast America) – Trey Spencer
Ego Likeness – When The Wolves Return (Metropolis Records)
Four Tet – Morning/Evening (Text Records)
Ghostface Killah – Twelve Reasons To Die II (Linear Labs)

Full Disclosure:

Everybody will have different experiences based on their preferences, their familiarity with one product or another, as well as what hardware they’re using. In the interest of transparency, this is my brief history and a list of test devices. I’ve been a member of Spotify Premium since July of 2011 and I’ve never really had any issues with it or a desire to try to find anything better. On the other hand, I do like Apple products so I had to give Apple Music a shot. The ‘test devices’ that were used for my comparison of Spotify and Apple Music are the following: iMac, Macbook Pro, iPhone 6+, iPhone 4S, iPad 3rd Generation and iPod Touch 5th Generation. There will be a lot of comparisons to Spotify since that service is obviously Apple’s biggest competitor.

The Good:

The actual presentation of both the desktop and mobile versions of Apple Music are beautiful.  On the desktop, the streaming albums integrate flawlessly with any purchased/ripped music that is already on your iTunes. The only way to tell the difference is the little cloud icon with an arrow through it that lets you know that you can download the track for offline use. The integration doesn’t stop there, though. When you select an individual artist there are a few new features that pop up. The most noteworthy is the addition of three tabs at the top of the band page. The first is ‘My Music’ which is exactly what you would…

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Sputnik’s Infinite Playlist: Q2 2015 Edition

Because who wouldn't be enticed to click on this playlist by Chad Kroeger's glorious mug?

Ladies, gentlemen, and readers who may not identify by either pole of the gender binary, welcome to Sputnikmusic’s 2nd Quarter Infinite Playlist for 2015. It’s been a long year since the last one of these went up – in the interim, the staffers who typically run the playlists (namely Sowing and myself) have been very busy with various kinds of work, both within and without Sputnik. That said, we figured now is as good a time as any to kick-start the ol’ Infinite Playlist again, and thanks to a healthy crop of user submissions we’re able to present a wide variety of some of the finest music released between April and June of this year. We’ve got a great mix of music for you, from post-hardcore to weird synthesizer explorations to a double dose of Britpoppy alt-rock, and we hope you enjoy this as much as we did.


This issue’s contributors are as follows:

Gameofmetal / Supercoolguy64 / danielito19 / RadicalEd / ChoccyPhilly / Tunaboy45 / judasgoat / Crawl / Brostep / ZackSh33 / Lambda / anobsoletevernacular / TheSpirit / Arcade / Pangea / cmaitland421


Being As An Ocean – “Little Richie”

“Little Richie” contains veiled hints that the upcoming third, and self titled,…

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Hi there! Apologies to those of you who missed out on our celebratory rainbowsplosion on Friday.

In case you missed it, pretend you’re Homer:

You're not at Moe's anymore.

People got a bit cranky with me, and perhaps understandably so — my favorite remark had something to do with “keeping the politics out of a music site” — despite that user 5′ing the entire Ted Nugent discography. Another user inquired as to why we decided to “fag up the main page”, which seemed odd considering there were no large bundles of sticks anywhere to be seen.

Despite our Communist name, Friday might have been the most important SCOTUS ruling since Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS, and there’s no reason why we can’t dance.

You know, perhaps there’s lots of lumber in those pants.

On another note, what are you doing for your extra leap second? Some of you might not have been alive during the Y2K pandemonium, but alas, I assure you that, somehow, your computer will be just fine.

Let’s carry on, then, to our Q2 mixtape, which our staffers are again delighted to present to you. Featuring selections from Titus Andronicus to The Drays to Nicolas Jaar to Icicle to Witchwood to God is an Astronaut, please feel free to stream the playlist below for some of our favorites between April 1st and June 30th.

Not everything is in the Spotify playlist, though, so keep your…

Please note that this will be the last weekly update post to be published at the beginning of the week. In lieu of Friday being recognised as the official “global release day”, this post will now be moving to the end of the week to accomodate the change. Check back in on Friday the 10th of July for your weekly news. And for information regarding the global release date change, you can head here

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 23rd, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Apathy – It’s The Bootleg, Muthafuckas! Vol. 4: The Black Lodge (Dirty Version Records)
Apathy – Weekend At The Cape (Dirty Version Records)
August Burns Red – Found In Far Away Places (Fearless Records)
Bang Gang – Wolves & Whispering (Idol)
Bilal – In Another Life (Entertainment One Music)
Dan Svizeny – Whitecaps (Group Tightener)
Failure – The Heart Is A Monster (Failure Records)
God Is An Astronaut – Helios/Erebus (Revive Records)
The Internet – Ego Death (Columbia)
Joy Williams – Venus (Columbia)
LA Priest – Inji (Domino Recording Company)
Man Overboard – Heavy Love (Rise Records) – Davey Boy
Matt Pond PA – The State Of Gold (Doghouse Records)
Miguel – Wildheart (RCA)
Refused – Freedom (Epitaph) – Dan H.
Rolo Tomassi – Grievances (Ipecac Recordings)
Tyga – The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty (Last King’s Music)

My, how time flies… Can you believe that 2015 is almost half complete? To mark the occasion, I thought I’d use a couple of ‘Sputnik Discusses’ blogs to reflect on some of the releases that have graced our ears over the past six months. But instead of immediately jumping into a ‘Best Of’ discussion, I thought it would be interesting to share with your SputnikMusic brethren some of your more exclusive finds of 2015. Personally, I find it kind of exciting when I come across musicians who don’t have an artist page on this website. And the last thing you want to do when you come across such musicians is keep them to yoursef. Write a review here and let the world know. Or if you can’t be stuffed writing 700 or so words, then this is where this very discussion comes in handy… Typing the artist and album title below will do just fine.

To throw out some examples, I’m going to list three 2015 releases which, prior to yours truly rating them, had all of one solitary rating between them (Damn you Thuckabe, you ruined it). Now, unsurprisingly (because [a] it’s me, and [b] they’re overlooked), there are some poppier leanings here… But I think you’ll find enough genre variety enclosed within to satisfy your needs.

First up is one Nathan Feuerstein, who goes by the moniker of NF. This 24 year old may remind you of someone… He is a…

We are currently hosting an AMA over on r/music at Reddit. If you’ve been dying to know if Irving’s nicest-guy-in-the-world persona is really just an act, if Davy prefers boxers or briefs, if I really am a robot, and what Sowing does to celebrate the publishing of another Taylor Swift review, then pop in here and flick us a question. Of course you could always ask what our ambitions for the website are, and what Sputnik truly means to us, but where’s the fun in that?

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 23rd, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Breaking Benjamin – Dark Before Dawn (Hollywood Records)
Bully – Feels Like (Columbia)
Creepoid – Cemetery Highrise Slum (Collect Records)
Desaparecidos – Payola (Epitaph)
Everything Everything – Get To Heaven (RCA/Sony)
Goblin Rebirth – Goblin Rebirth (Relapse)
Jaakko Eino Kalevi – Jaakko Eino Kalevi (Weird World)
Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Mercury Nashville)
Leon Bridges – Coming Home (Columbia)
London O’Connor – O∆ (Self-released)
Mocky – Key Change (Heavy Sheet)
Neil Young & Promise Of The Real – The Monsanto Years (Reprise)
Pistol George Warren – Oceapur 9 (Self-released)
Richard Thompson – Still (Fantasy)
Rhapsody – Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus (Nuclear Blast America)
Son Lux – Bones (Glassnote)
T. Hardy Morris – Hardy & The Hardknocks: Drownin On A Mountaintop (Dangerbird)
Thy Art Is Murder – Holy War (Nuclear Blast America)

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 16th, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Active Child – Mercy (Vagrant)
Adam Lambert – The Original High (Warner Bros.)
Amos Lee – Live At Red Rocks With The Colorado Symphony (ATO Records)
Ben Browning – Turns (Yellow Year)
Calvin Love – Super Future (Arts & Crafts)
DJ Koze – DJ-Kicks: DJ Koze (K7)
Heartless Bastards – Restless Ones (PTKF) – Rudy K.
Hilary Duff – Breathe In. Breathe Out (RCA)
Hudson Mohawke – Lantern (Warp Records)
Ike Reilly – Born On Fire (Rock Ridge Music)
James Taylor – Before This World (Concord)
The Lonesome Trio – The Lonesome Trio (Sugar Hill)
mewithoutYou – Pale Horses (Run For Cover Records/LLC) – SowingSeason
Mika – No Place In Heaven (Republic)
Nate Ruess – Grand Romantic (WEA/Fueled By Ramen)
The Ongoing Concept – Homemade (Solid State)
Outfit – Slowness (Memphis Industries)
Ryn Weaver – The Fool (Interscope)
Third Eye Blind – Dopamine (Mega Collider)
Walk Of The Earth – Sing It All Away (Columbia)


Album Streams:

Active Child – Mercy

Hudson Mohawke – Lantern

mewithoutYou – Pale Horses

Ryn Weaver – The Fool

Walk Of The Earth – Sing It All Away


SputnikMusic’s Most Played Artists of the Week (according to Last.FM):

Staff :

1. Sufjan Stevens
2. Nirvana
3. Cairo Knife Fight
4. In Flames

With June shaping up as an excellent month for new album releases, I’m in between jotting together a few potential reviews at the moment. As these albums require more detailed listening and examination for the sake of an informative dissection, I’m often lacking the time to hear many other 2015 releases at the same time. What I often do in this case is stockpile a handful of EPs, for the obvious reasons that they take less time to listen to. By pure coincidence, I came across 3 consecutive EPs last week that were all acoustic based. For the record, I enjoyed all three, which were recorded by Pvris, Brigades and State Champs.

I recall looking at the track-listing for the State Champs EP (titled ‘The Acoustic Things’) and being disappointed that only one of my highlights from their album ‘The Finer Things’ was included. Yet, upon listening to the 7 included tracks, I found that the tune ‘Simple Existence’ stood out. I wondered why I had not included that as an LP highlight, so I went back and listened to the electric version. The answer was simple? The acoustic version was better!

Without harping on the pop-punk goes acoustic factor, it reminded me of a couple of years back when I was listening to the discography of (arguably middling) Massachusetts quintet A Loss For Words. Sure, they have a knack for a catchy hook, but so does 90% of pop-punk bands. The…

Tengger Cavalry. Nature Ganganbaigal. Names that are not part of everyday discussions here on Sputnik, which is exactly why I went out and shot an interview request towards Metal Hell Records some nights ago – to find out more. Only a day or so managed to pass, and already the wise Mongol chieftain in charge of Tengger Cavalry had answers for my written inquiries. Founded in 2009, Tengger Cavalry is currently the leading Mongolian folk metal band… in the world. The group has been more than active since its inception, due to the never ending creative flow of its mastermind, Nature Ganganbaigal. To date, the band has released four full-length albums in the span of six years, with their latest release – a re-recording of their debut Blood Sacrifice Shaman – dropping on May 18 of this year. Given that the latest addition to Tengger Cavalry’s discography is less a remaster and more an entirely new beast brought to life on the carcass of old ideas, it is safe to say that Tengger Cavalry is one of the busiest bands in metal today. Now that the new old album is out there for everybody to hear, Nature devoted some time to me, to answer a few questions about the band, himself, and his religion.

Good evening to you! As Tengger Cavalry is rather unknown on our site, would you be so kind as to give a short overview of what this band is all about?

It’s been a while since a Davey-moderated ‘Sputnik Discusses’ went interactive and took a look at the best album art of all time, but fear not; I’m still sitting in a dark room somewhere thinking up discussion topics. Filling the breach for one of my missing weeks was our very own Lord of Brostep, Sir. Will Robinson, with his blog concerning life in college and a lot of cursing. I kid, I kid. Thanks to Will for stepping in, and if you are yet to read his thought-provoking discussion on hip-hop lyrics, I urge you to do so by clicking here

Today’s topic is a genuinely tough one for me to write about. I mean, I’m never wrong… So how the hell can I personally convey any situation where I was incorrect on anything? I guess that if I had reached school-age yet, I would have been wrong on Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson, but even the statute of limitations would have forgiven me for that one by now. Plus, this is a music website.

I guess the closest time that such a music-related phenomena occurred was back in the mid-2000s when I heard Toronto punk rockers Billy Talent for the first time. Call me narrow-minded, but I just felt that it would be near impossible to overcome such negative first impressions of a band. Owning a voice that will be despised much more than it is liked, it’s an…

Courtesy of Consequence of Sound

Three weeks after braving a sixth year of the desert of Coachella, I was off across the country to Atlanta, Georgia, to take in the relatively fresh-faced Shaky Knees music festival. Only in its third iteration in as many venues, Shaky Knees has shot up fast in festivalgoers’ estimation: its penchant for widely disparate artists, with a noticeable lack of pandering to wide-eyed EDM fans, convenient location in the heart of Atlanta, and relatively cheap cost for a three-day festival (at $125 for early bird tickets, that’s $175 cheaper than Bonnaroo and a full $250 less than Coachella). DEALZ$$. The fact that my editor harassed the media until they granted my journalistic integrity a pass sealed the deal – another weekend in a mishmash of parks, side avenues, and parking lots to catch set after exhausting set. Hey, at least I now know what the weather at Bonnaroo feels like.

Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

After a debut in a historic Atlanta park and an artistically successful, location-challenged (at an outdoor mall??) second year, Shaky Knees’ move into downtown Atlanta’s Central Park was apparently a welcome one to many fans I talked to, although the location was more a chunk of park (actually two parks, as it connected a bit with Atlanta’s Renaissance Park – Atlanta has a lot of parks) winding its way through a few residential divisions and…

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